This paper attempts to provide a critique of the Commitment to Africa report in an effort to understand how one large transnational corporation sees its role in the continent and to explain its social responsibility and its approach to citizenship.
The critique analyses sections of the report by identifying the key messages contained therein and reflects on these in the light of other evidence and viewpoints. For instance: On what does Nestlé base its corporate citizenship? What contribution does Nestlé make to economic development in Africa? What wider social issues does Nestlé embrace? How does the report discharge Nestlé's accountability to its stakeholders?
The report prioritises economic development and indicates that this is the means of achieving poverty alleviation in Africa. There is some engagement with the Millennium Development Goals by the company, which indicates a philanthropic model of corporate social responsibility.
The study is limited to one company but there are implications for other transnational companies as many of these produce reports in a similar vein. The research could therefore be replicated by examining further reports.
The paper adds to the knowledge on the relationship between corporate social responsibility and poverty alleviation. It also provides additional evidence on the role of transnational enterprises in globalisation processes.
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